24 September 2008

The Curious Incident Of The Big Dog In The Night-Time

Bill Clinton: Will respect Jewish holidays, then 'hustle up ... cracker vote' in Florida (Ben Smith, Politico.com, 9/24/08)
In an interview with CNN's Larry King airing tonight, Bill Clinton offered a slightly unusual reason for postponing his campaigning for Obama: The Jewish high holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, which he's not known to observe
By their excuses shall you know them.

22 September 2008

Been A While...

since we've had a good space elevator discussion. Now Japan has has turned its attention to building a space elevator, although the linked article is somewhat unclear on who "Japan" is.

19 September 2008

Inquiring Minds

An Indian friend of mine asks, "Why is telecommunications so expensive in the States?" He says that cell phones and service are much less expensive in India and that the rest of the world wonders why we don't text message.

What's the answer?

16 September 2008

Social Psych To The Rescue

My social psych professor suggests a possible solution to the underpricing conundrum. She suggests that putting out a new hot system, especially around Christmas time, gets us to psychologically commit to buying one, either for ourselves or for our kids. When we discover we can't get one, we (a) decide to get one when they are available and (b) buy something else for Christmas. As a result, instead of making just one Christmas sale, the toy/video game companies make Christmas sales and, after the supply opens up, January sales.

There's at least one problem with this explanation: why would the companies assume that they'll reap the benefit of the double sale. Maybe whatever substitute we buy for Christmas will come from some other company. But, other than that, this does seem to make psychological sense.

PS: As I think about it, this doesn't help with iPhone pricing at all.

15 September 2008


She can't win! No one I know is voting for her.

13 September 2008

Yah, Dead Hourse. Yah.

This really isn't that difficult. A "preemptive" war is when you preempt an imminent attack by attacking first. Israel preempted a first attack by the massed Arab armies in the Six Day War. As a matter of international law of war, there is absolutely no question about one nation's right to attack first to preempt an imminent attack. If an American submarine had come across the Japanese fleet launching planes on December 7, it would not have to have loitered around until bombs were actually dropped on Pearl Harbor before it sank the carriers.

What the United States asserted in Iraq -- what Charlie Gibson would have meant if he understood the Bush Doctrine -- was a controversial right to launch a preventative war. A preventative attack is meant to defend the attacking nation by preventing a probably enemy from getting any where near to attacking. As Dick Cheney said, we didn't want to wait until an Iraqi attack was imminent. We took that position because 9/11 had taught us that we weren't willing to wait to be attacked, even if the attack did little strategic damage.

One of the lessons of the internet is that the left is every bit as ignorant as the right, but that ignorance is more annoying when it accompanies an assumption of superior knowledge.

04 September 2008

This Prying Into The Candidates Personal Lives Must End

Michelle Obama says she's done having kids (AP, 9/04/08)

Obama to Dispatch Female Surrogates (Patrick Healy and Jeff Zeleny, NY Times, 9/04/08)

Call Off Your On-Bringers, Redux

Obama campaign hits back against Palin comments (Phillip Elliot, AP, 9/04/08)
As for Palin's claim to be an outsider, Axelrod said that given her pointed criticism of Obama, "for someone who makes the point that she's not from Washington, she looked very much like she would fit in very well there."
Obama will meet with Ahmadinejad without preconditions, but Ahmadinejad is no Sarah Palin.

03 September 2008

Anyone Willing To Bet Against

there being at least one woman major party presidential nominee in 2012?

02 September 2008

I'd Rather Be Lucky Than Good, But Being Both Is Better

Even within the context of how brilliantly the McCain campaign handled the Palin announcement (Speech? What speech?), they couldn't possibly have foreseen Obama making the rookie mistake of picking a fight with the opposition V.P. candidate. That he would do so badly ("our executive experience of running a presidential campaign is a much bigger deal than being Mayor of Wassilla Alaska") is just a gift from G-d.

01 September 2008

Those Who Forget The Past Are American

I know that we're a nation without a past. In fact, I like that about us. But even I am shocked by our inability to remember the events of three years ago when Hurricane Katrina was seared ... seared ... across our memories. In particular, that Katrina itself didn't do much damage, that it had looked anticlimactic, until the storm surge from Lake Pontchartrain spilled through the inadequate levees and flooded the city. Coverage of Gustav has not only failed to rehearse that history, but has wrongly claimed that the damage three years ago came from winds and rain directly flooding the city.